His Health my Shift
Now that Relámpago was home it was time to start polishing him up and getting him ready for the show ring. I was in my element... I had trained, groomed, showed and cared for breeding stock my entire life so I new exactly what to do next.
In the upcoming weeks we started to notice something wasn't right in Relámpago's hind fetlocks. He was standing funny kind of upright more than usual and his movement was a little off. So we immediately called out our longtime veterinarian and friend the late Dr. Lary Evan Ellsworth. He was not only a thoughtful human being who taught me so much growing up he was great with the horses. Though rather old school in comparison to todays veterinarians he knew what a horse needed and never confused a horse's needs with any other species. He fully understood the nature of the horse which is one of the things that made him so good at what he did.
When he arrived he took one look at Relámpago and confidently said that's epiphysitis "we see it a lot in the taller faster growing foals. It's good you caught it so early even though there is little we can do outside of diet to slow his growth down you at least are starting early and maybe, just maybe we can keep him alive." WHAT! I thought... just maybe keep him alive?
He explained with the way Relámpago was already standing so upright on his hind legs that he had a lot of growing to do still and it would be at least 2-3 years before the bones would fully ossify. Dr. Lary did say "I think we may expect him to pull through in under a year if all goes well though." He was particularly big for the breed making his chances for recovery slim. In order not to over stretch the tendons he recommended stall rest with controlled hand walking and a very low protein diet. We also started him on a good joint glucosamine supplement to help keep his joints as healthy as possible.
A year past with controlled hand walking and his reduced protein diet. Unfortunately he wasn't getting better and little did we know we hadn't past the worst of it yet. The issue spread to all four legs and noticeably into his knees as well. Fortunately he didn't appear to be as weak in his knees as he was in his fetlocks.
For the next 10 months or so we monitored him closely and did what we could to make him comfortable and keep him healthy. I dedicated myself to learning all I could about epyphisitis and it's treatments. I spent countless hours in the barn sculpting and drawing the horses. At this point my focus was on his health. I had put my dream temporarily aside.
But I knew what all this would amount to in the end deep down inside but I still held on to my dream. In hopes that I would see him through this and get started on our journey to starting a P.R.E. breeding program one day...
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